Two Connacht individual underage titles were claimed by Leitrim’s athletes on Sunday when the County successfully hosted the Connacht Even Ages and Adult League Cross-country Championship in Calry, Co Sligo last Sunday.
Although the event was held in Sligo, the event was organised by the Leitrim County Board and North Leitrim Athletic Club in particular and all their hard work got the day they deserved with beautiful sunshine on a tough and testing course.
Leitrim had three individual winners on the day – Michelle Lannon of Carrick-on-Shannon AC was a clear winner of the Masters Section of Leg One of the Adult Cross-country League, finishing fourth overall in a race run with U18, U20, Senior and Novice Athletes.
Michelle was always well up but finished incredibly well and was closing on the athletes ahead of her in the final 200m. Her Carrick AC clubmate Susanne O’Beirne also performed well in a tough race, official placings not yet to hand.
North Leitrim AC’s Niamh Carolan was a dominant winner of the U14 Girls race as she took control early on and stormed to a comprehensive win, one of the biggest winning margins on the day. She was followed home by team-mates Catherine Hill (29), Erin Somers (33), Sara O’Beirne (34) and Sarah Foley (41), North Leitrim finishing third in the team race.
In the U12 Boys race, Carrick AC and the Kennedy family brought home two individual medals with Declan winning the race with his twin brother Patrick outsprinting three more runners for third. With Ballinamore AC’s Mark Ahern in 11th, Drumshanbo’s Darragh Lee 14th and North Leitrim’s Luke Fitzmaurice 43rd and Alan O’Beirne 56th, it was a remarkable performance for the top three Leitrim runners who are all in the U11 race next week.
Carrick AC also saw Lauren Reynolds win her first Connacht cross-country medal when she finished second with a strong second half with clubmate Ellie O’Rourke in fourth while North Leitrim’s Ashling Cullen was 5th, Sarah Brady 6th, Ella McDaid 18th and Mairead Clancy 27th.
North Leitrim won the team club prize and Leitrim also claimed second in the county competition.
Carrick AC’s Anna Corcoran also produced a strong run to finish sixth in the U18 Girls race, coming through strongly on a testing course.
In the U14 Boys, North Leitrim’s Sean Giblin was 21st with Carrick’s Brendan Kennedy 22nd.
Other North Leitrim placings to hand were as follows:
U16 Boys: 30th Diarmuid Giblin; 32nd Darragh Mitchell; 33rd Kristoff Rutkawska
U18 Girls: 14th Lucy McNair
U18 Boys: 23rd Aaron Bradshaw; 26th Oisin Carolan
Many thanks to all who helped make the day a success by working as stewards, officials, course markers and all those who compiled the results.
Special thanks to Sligo’s Ray Flynn, Ann McHugh, Brian McBride, Amanda and; Peter Hynes, Terry Hayes and everyone from all the clubs who helped run the day off smoothly.
Action turns next Sunday to Moyne Community School in Longford with the Connacht Uneven Ages and the second leg of the adult cross-country League.